The town of Kargil is best remembered for the Kargil War when Indian military troops captured the Tiger Hill from infiltrators and emerged victorious in a long battle. It is situated at an elevation of 8,780 feet along the banks of the river Suru, also known as Indus.
The town is located at the junction of a famous silk route and caravans from china, Yakkand, Afghanistan, and Indian plains used to go through Kargil in the past. These countries were dealing with silk, carpets, and precious stones.
Now there are only ruins of these caravan Sarais which once was very famous for trade and silk route. Kargil is located 60 km from Drass which is the 2nd coldest place in the world. But now, it’s time to find out beautiful places to visit in Kargil when traveling there. Let’s go 😍
Here are the 5 Beautiful Places To Visit In Kargil:
1. Mulbekh Monastery
Situated 45 km from Kargil and 260 km from Leh, Mulbekh Monastery is famous for its two gompas. The Mulbekh Monastery with its gompas stands on a peak above the Srinagar-Leh highway. The two gompas are Drukpa (new Buddhist school) and Gelugpa (old Buddhist school).
The monastery is situated at an elevation of 3,304 meters and is indeed a remarkable piece of workmanship that maintains a carved nine meters tall statue of Maitreya Buddha, which is said to be overlooking the old trade route and the present-day highway. The statue is also called Chamba and is believed to have been built around the 8th century AD.
Even though the common belief is that this depiction is of Lord Buddha, many scholars asserted a strong resemblance of Lord Shiva as well. In addition, it also houses many prized relics, ancient inscriptions, and frescoes that reflect the magnificent works of the 14th century.
The best time to visit Mulbekh is between May to October. Summer months are the ideal time to visit Mulbekh as the region remains snowbound during winter and temperatures drop way below zero. Even in summer, do not forget to carry warm clothes.
2. Tiger Hill
Tiger Hill traditionally known as Gangz La (also called Point 5062) is a mountain in the Drass-Kargil area which is one of the highest peaks in the area and was the subject of a battle during the 1999 Kargil War. Since Tiger Hill is the highest peak in the sector, it overlooks National Highway 1D, a road that connects Srinagar to Kargil, and is the main supply route of the Kargil sector.
The main tourist attraction of this hill is trekking where you can climb up to the viewpoints to get a panoramic view of the surrounding area. You can consider camping there to enjoy an outdoor evening.
There is a Kargil War memorial on the highway road. One can get a good view of the hill from the memorial on a clear day. Inside the Kargil War memorial or the Drass War Memorial, you can find a memorial sandstone wall with the names of the soldiers who died during the battle.
Another notable point of elegance here is the beautiful natural beauty of Tiger Hill, which is covered in mild verdant foliage paired with sublime clouds in the background. The fresh morning air as you make your way to the summit is a refreshing experience away from the banter of city life.
3. Lamayuru Monastery
Nestled in Lamayouro, Yuru or the Lamayuru Monastery is a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery which is the oldest and one of the largest monasteries in Ladakh.
Perched at an altitude of 11520 ft., the monastery is one of the fascinating places to visit in Kargil. The oldest gompa is also one of the largest monasteries in Ladakh famed as Tharpa Ling which means the ‘place of freedom’. Nearly 150 monks belong to the monastery and 30-40 still reside at the gompa belonging to the Red-Sect of Buddhism. Murals, frescoes, and column paintings exemplifying the Kashmiri style of Buddhist iconography are what stand out in this monastery.
Also, the monastery lures spiritual learners and tourists who wish to spend some time at a beautiful location amidst the sacred aura. The gompa also serves as the meditation center. The monastery also has a small temple dedicated to Avalokiteshwara, the manifestation of the compassion of all Buddhas.
Two annual Mask Dance Festivals are held in Lamayuru Monastery, marking one of the best times to visit the place. The tranquil ambiance and scenic location of the monastery are mesmerizing.
4. Suru River
The Suru River is a 185 km long river tributary of the Indus River that flows entirely through the Kargil where the Penzella glacier near Pensi La is the main source of the Suru River.
The Suru River forms the western and northern boundary of the Zanskar Range. The river flows westwards, along with the Kargil-Zanskar Road, from its source and forms the Suru valley, which is towered by the massif of Nun Kun mountain. It drains the Nun Kun mountain massif of the Zanskar Range in the Suru valley and is joined by a tributary “Shafat Nala” at the pastures of Gulmatango.
The Suru River has extensive possibilities for rafting and it is practiced during the summer. The Suru Valley is the starting point for rafting trips, and it also provides a base for mountaineering expeditions to the Nun Kun mountain massif.
5. Kargil War Memorial
Located on the Srinagar-Leh National Highway 1D, about 5 km from the city centre across Tiger Hill, The Kargil War Memorial is a war memorial built by the Indian Army in the town of Dras, commemorating the 1999 Kargil War between India and Pakistan. In May 1999, Pakistani troops invaded and captured many hills like Tololing and Tiger Hills along the LoC of the Indian state. The Indian Army gave a strong fightback and recaptured all the spots.
However, during the war, many martyrs and jawans selflessly lost their lives and the Kargil War Memorial is a homage to their bravery and sacrifice and this historic monument built in pink sandstone is an epitome of sheer bravery and sacrifice.
The main highlight here is the pink sandstone wall engraved with the names of the soldiers who died fighting for the country. There is a gallery named “Manoj Pandey Gallery” which showcases the photographs taken during that time, weapons, and artillery discovered during the war.
Each year on 26 July, Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated at Kargil War Memorial to pay tribute to those soldiers. If you are traveling to Leh Ladakh then a trip to the Kargil War Memorial is the best thing you could do.